As the Gita Jayanti festival at Kurukshetra approaches, my mind turns to the battle that took place 5000+ years ago at Samantapanchaka – the five lakes.
At the start of the Bhishma Parva, Veda Vyasa, speaks to Dhritarashtra of the terrible omens that he has observed in the world around. I think he carried the news to Dhritarashtra of other places that he had travelled through and heard about.
We now know that some geological event caused the drying of the Saraswathi river around 5000 BC – 3000 BCE. Going by the descriptions of stuff flying about, dust storms and radioactivity I think there may be been a meteorite, that caused the earth quake. Please read the article on the Saraswathi River carefully and correlate the translation with the scientific model.
Vyasa has also described several astronomical events that marked the beginning of the Mahabharata War which have been used by scholars to compute a possible set of alternate dates for the war. Very interestingly he indicates that Rahu is approaching the sun and that a solar eclipse is due 13 days from the lunar eclipse, which is so unusual that it will lead to catastrophe. Read this for more details on the frequency of a 13 day gap between lunar and solar eclipses. Unique eclipse pair combination just before the Bharata War! : based on “http://www.boloji.com/astro/00325a.htm : DrS.Balakrishna
(Source for translation of Mahabharata, Bhishma Parva, Kisari Mohan Ganguli, editing and commentary is by Satya Sarada Kandula.)
Animal behaviour :
- Hawks and vultures, and crows and herons, together with cranes, are alighting on the tops of trees and gathering in flocks. These birds, delighted at the prospect of battle, are looking down (on the field) before them. Carnivorous beasts will feed on the flesh of elephants and steeds. Fierce herons, foreboding terror, and uttering merciless cries, are wheeling across the centre towards the southern region.
- Kokilas, wood-peckers, jaws, water-cocks, parrots, crows, and peacocks, utter terrible cries.
- At sun-rise flights of insects, by hundreds are seen.
- The animals are all weeping and their tears are falling fast.
- Women quick with child, and even those that are not so, are giving birth to monsters. ertain women are bringing forth four or five daughters (at a time).
- These are seen to be indicative of genetic mutations. These cannot be caused by earthquakes, only radioactivity (meteors?) There are also more descriptions of unnatural births, of the kind we read about in the papers today, both among humans and animals.
Astronomical and Sky Observations :
- In both the twilights, prior and posterior, I daily behold, O Bharata, the sun during his rising and setting to be covered by headless trunks. (A reference to Rahu, Kethu?)
- Tri-coloured clouds with their extremities white and red and necks black, charged with lightning, and resembling maces (in figure) envelope the sun in both twilights.
- I have seen the sun, the moon, and the stars to be all blazing. No difference in their aspect is to be noted in the evening. I have seen this all day and all night.
- On even the fifteenth night of the lighted-fortnight in (the month of) Kartika, the moon, divested of splendour, became invisible, or of the hue of fire, the firmament being of the hue of the lotus.
- Here Vyasa is describing a lunar eclipse that took place on Karthika Pournami.
- Astronomers like Balakrishna use this as one of the many inputs to date the Bharata War.
- She, O king, who is celebrated over the three worlds and is applauded by the righteous, even that (constellation) Arundhati keepeth (her lord) Vasistha on her back.
- This tells us about the position of the saptarishi mandala as viewed (at kurukshetra?)
- see Saptarishi Calendar
- The planet Sani (Saturn) also, O king, appeareth afflicting (the constellation) Rohini.
- The sign of the deer (is he referring to mrgasira?) in the Moon hath deviated from its usual position.
- These are some of the astronomical observations used in calculating the date of the bharata war
- and Rahu approacheth towards the sun. The white planet (Ketu) stayeth, having passed beyond the constellation Chitra. (Rahu and Ketu are astronomical points used in the calculation of eclipses). (Surya Siddhantam)
- This means that Vyasa as well as Sri Krishna knew of the impending solar eclipse. Sri Krishna is poetically said to have covered the sun with his sudarshana chakra on the day Jayadratha was to be killed and Abhimanyu avenged. I always thought he was accurate at predicting solar eclipses, since Sri Krishna was singularly the best informed person that ever walked the earth.The karthika pournami lunar eclipse and the solar eclipse on the day of Jayadratha’s death have been used to calculate alternate sets of dates for the bharata war.
- See: Unique eclipse pair combination just before the Bharata War! : based on “http://www.boloji.com/astro/00325a.htm : DrS.Balakrishna “The first and oldest eclipse pair from 3129 BC is unique. These fit the Puranic description that Sri Krishna passed away in 3102 BCJ, which is 27 years after the war. The study confirms that Kaliyuga could have started in 3102 BCJ. There are 5 other pairs that may fit the bill, though not as well as this one.”
- A fierce comet riseth, afflicting the constellation Pusya.
- Mars wheeleth towards Maghaand Vrihaspati (Jupiter) towards Sravana.
- The Sun’s offspring (Sani) approaching towards the constellation Bhaga, afflicteth it.
- The planet Sukra, ascending towards Purva Bhadra, shineth brilliantly, and wheeling towards the Uttara Bhadra, looketh towards it, having effected a junction (with a smaller planet).
- The white planet (Ketu? verify) blazing up like fire mixed with smoke, stayeth, having attacked the bright constellation Jyeshtha that is sacred to Indra.
- The constellation Dhruva, blazing fiercely, wheeleth towards the right.
- Both the Moon and the Sun are afflicting Rohini.
- The fierce planet (Rahu) hath taken up its position between the constellations Chitra and Swati.
- The red-bodied (Mars) possessed of the effulgence of fire, wheeling circuitously, stayeth in a line with the constellation Sravana over-ridden by Brihaspati.
- The effulgence of the constellation known by the name of the seven high-souled Rishis, hath been dimmed. Those two blazing planets, viz., Brihaspati and Sani, having approached the constellation called Visakha, have become stationary there for a whole year. Three lunations twice meeting together in course of the same lunar fortnight, the duration of the latter is shortened by two days. On the thirteenth day therefore, from the first lunation, according as it is the day of the full moon or the new moon, the moon and the sun are afflicted by Rahu. Such strange eclipses, both lunar and solar, forebode a great slaughter.
- Rahu of fierce deeds is also, O monarch, afflicting the constellation Krittika.
- Meteors, effulgent like Indra’s thunder-bolt, fall with loud hisses.
A lunar fortnight had hitherto consisted of fourteen days, or fifteen days (as usual), or sixteen days. This, however, I never knew that the day of new-moon would be on the thirteenth day from the first lunation, or the day of full-moon on the thirteenth day from the same. And yet in course of the same month both the Moon and the Sun have undergone eclipses on the thirteenth days from the day of the first lunation. The Sun and the Moon therefore, by undergoing eclipses on unusual days, will cause a great slaughter of the creatures of the earth. See: Unique eclipse pair combination just before the Bharata War! : based on “http://www.boloji.com/astro/00325a.htm : DrS.Balakrishna
Geological Observations :
- O monarch! drums, without being beaten, give sounds, and the great cars of Kshatriyas move without (being drawn by) animals yoked to them.
- In both twilights, the cardinal quarters seem to be ablaze, and the clouds, O Bharata, shower dust and flesh.
- These points are taken to be indicative of the earthquakes and other geological events that led to the drying up of the Saraswathi River. They are also used in dating the bharata war.
- A great terror is indicated. Even though the sky is cloudless, a terrible roar is heard.
- The trees in the forests are exhibiting unseasonable flowers and fruits.
- Strong winds are blowing fiercely and the dust ceaseth not.
- Indicative of A desert being formed.
- The earth is frequently trembling,
- All the quarters of the earth, being overwhelmed by showers of dust, look inauspicious. Fierce clouds, portentous of danger, drop bloody showers during the night.
- Rough winds, portending fierce danger, are constantly blowing
- From the mountains of Kailasa and Mandara and Himavat thousands of explosions are heard and thousands of summits are tumbling down. In consequence of the Earth’s trembling, each of the four oceans having swelled greatly, seems ready to transgress its continents for afflicting the Earth. Fierce winds charged with pointed pebbles are blowing, crushing mighty trees. In villages and towns trees, ordinary and sacred, are falling down, crushed by mighty winds and struck by lightning….
We need to get the original sanskrit slokas, and then assess the astronomy content and then compute the dates to satisfy ourselves. Many experts have given many views on the same. The only way to know who is right is to re-calculate ourselves after some study.
Translation is by Kisari Mohan Ganguli, editing and commentary is by Satya Sarada Kandula. All Rights Reserved.
More on eclipses and customs : http://www.doxtop.com/browse/9391dfc6/solar-and-lunar-eclipse.aspx